- Ready Nutrition Official Website For Natural Living, Sustainable Lifestyle Tips, Health Food Recipes, Family Preparedness and More - https://readynutrition.com -

Week 40 of 52: Cold Weather Preparedness

In a previous newsletters we discussed in depth the nightmare we would experience during a prolonged or long-term power disruption [1]. Taking this a step further, what would happen if this event occurred in the dead of winter? This is a serious threat for those who see frigid cold weather temperatures during the winter? In this case, it will be up  to you to keep yourself and your family warm until the grid comes back up or until Spring arrives.

In an article [2] written by the talented Sarah Duncan, she discusses this very issue and adds that, “Our society has become so certain that the grid is permanent that many homes built over the past 50-60 years have been designed without the vital elements of a fireplace or a wood stove for heat.” In the newer homes, most of the fireplaces are present for aesthetic reasons rather than practicality. For this reason, we must prepare accordingly in order to stay warm.

Exposure to cold for long periods of time can be caustic to the body tissues. When the cold hits the body and your core temperature drops, your body will kick into survival mode by cutting off circulation to the outer extremities first (like when a lizard detaches its tail). The fingers, toes, nose, ears, and lips are the first places your body ceases to keep alive when faced with death by freezing. These are the first parts of the body to show signs of frostbite. Keep in mind that you can develop hypothermia with temperatures above freezing. The fastest way to become hypothermic is a combination of cold temperatures with wind and rain. In this case, your body loses heat 25 times faster than it would by just being out in the cold.

Older individuals and small children are at the greatest risk of hypothermia. Diabetics and those who suffer from low thyroid levels are also more at risk. However, anyone who is subjected to the elements long enough will surely be effected. Learn about the signs of hypothermia and how to treat it [3].

[4]

Let’s begin discussing some solutions and practical ways to prevent this. Having some space heaters on hand will be a Godsend when temperatures start dropping rapidly. Propane heaters, such as the Little Buddy heater [5] can provide a room with ample heat and are considered safe for indoor use in most states. There are several propane heaters on the market that do not require electricity. Kerosene/Oil heaters are also beneficial to have during cold months. These heaters burn a wick for heat, fuelled by the addition of heating oil.  An antique “Perfection [6]” oil heater can be a charming addition to your decor that can be called into service during a grid-down situation.  Click here [7] to read more information about the different types of kerosene heaters that are available.

Every preparedness layer makes a difference in the case of surviving the winter in a grid-down situation. We can make the most of a dire situation by insulating the body and insulating the home. Aside from the obvious ways to stay warm, consider the following:

Insulating the Body

Insulating the Home

[11]


In your search for warmth make certain that you also maintain safety. Keep fire extinguishers handy and invest in a battery operated carbon monoxide detector.  Keep children and pets away from items that could burn them or that could tip over, causing a fire. Be sure to store all flammable materials (such as propane and kerosene) according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Did you know that snow is an excellent insulator (provided you don’t touch it)? For those of you who may find themselves outdoors and exposed to the cold elements, knowing how to make an emergency winter shelter [19] out of snow could save your life.

  Preps to Buy:

Action Items:

Winterize your home before bad weather is expected:

  1. Check your furnace and replace filters monthly.
  2. Inspect the fireplace and get it ready for use. Ensure your firewood is properly seasoned, and stored away from the home.
  3. Insulate your exterior pipes.
  4. Inspect exterior of home  and seal any crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes.
  5. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
  6. Add insulation to your walls and attic, if necessary.
  7. Consider purchasing insulated doors and storm windows to further protect your home from the cold. This will also help lower your heating bill.
  8. Replace cracked glass in windows. If is necessary to replace the entire window, be sure to prime and paint exposed wood.
  9. If your home has a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
  10. Inspect roof, gutters & downspouts and clean out any debris.